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Poster: FindersKeepers Date: Dec 13, 2006 9:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

I think most people probably agree that Jerry, post '91 or '92 was no longer at his peak. This was apparent from the few shows I attended from '93-'95. However when listening to some of these later shows I sometimes think that Jerry's speed and chops on the guitar increased greatly during this period. In songs like Hell in a Bucket, and others I can't think of right now - Jerry just rips up and down the neck with lightning speed. Maybe he always was able to do that but in the 90's shows he tended to use distortion a lot more which gives him the illusion of being faster.

Did Jerry's speed ability increase during the last years or was it simply a choice of style? I'd also like to hear peoples' examples of shows or songs featuring speed-demon Jerry.

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Poster: Robony Date: Dec 14, 2006 6:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

The scales that he used in the later years were more simplified than those he used earlier. I think that helped give the illusion of his playing faster in that he was able to go through the progressions quicker.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Dec 13, 2006 3:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

I remember when they busted out watchtower in 87 and once they had a groove on the song they just ripped through it. This tune slowed way down in later years. Also, St Of circumstance used to fly as well.

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Poster: Robony Date: Dec 14, 2006 6:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

Double post

This post was modified by Robony on 2006-12-14 14:51:59

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Dec 13, 2006 6:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

I interviewed my Grandfather when he was getting to be about 90 years old and basically asked him what was the secret to having a good life. He immediately replied, "NEVER STOP WORKING" (which we certainly got to give Garcia) and the other thing he said after a little reflection was "conserve your strength" (Garcia's body was giving out on him, but he did the best he could to keep performing)
You know we often don't discuss that the diabetic coma Garcia experienced in 1986 meant he had to relearn some things from scratch again. Ideally, it would have been good if Garcia had an apprentice, someone who he could have handed the reigns over too. perhaps that would have been Brent- in much the same way Pigpen bowed out to Garcia's lead.
Any way my Grandfather RIP (1907-2000)would probably have recognized what Garcia was doing towards the end. Conserving his energy and finding tools that he could use to make up for his declining strength or put more simply, The child and
the elder have one thing in common-they both need a nap

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Poster: patkelley Date: Dec 13, 2006 9:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

For really fast garcia, check out "Let it Grow"s from the early to mid 80s, particularly 83, particularly 4-26-83. It's some lightning stuff.

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Dec 13, 2006 7:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

That was a cool LIG- check out, though, some of the stuff he was playing in 68-69- I will find a link I sent a friend where I thought I was hearing things for a minute- Jerry pulled off this riff that seemed impossible- something like a shredder like Satriani or Vai might do- but 30 years prior- he was a kindred sould, Jerry, to Duane Allman in many ways- this particular riff reminded me of Duane

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Dec 13, 2006 9:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

Agreed.

Check out the LIG from 5-1-81 for lightning fast garcia licks that are focused and blazing all at the same time.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Dec 13, 2006 5:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

He always had the ability to fly when necessary, but I think opted for more soulful, distinct and slower playing with lots of bends and vibrato on most stuff. The later (way slow) versions of FOTD are an example where he clearly wanted to add a juxtaposition to the tempo by coming out of the chute blazing after the Weir solo. He utilized that same effect for drama with Night They Drove Old Dixie Down after the Melvin B3 solo in JGB. Very tasty in that kind of setting.

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Poster: Robony Date: Dec 14, 2006 6:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

The scales that he used in the later years were more simplified than those he used earlier. I think that helped give the illusion of his playing faster in that he was able to go through the progressions quicker.

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Dec 13, 2006 2:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

trust me, it's an illusion, Garcia might have lit the blue torch in 93 and a couple of times in 94, but he did not play as fast in the 90s as he did in the 80s...granted, musically you can only play so fast to still make sense but just check out most any good late 70s, 80s show against a good 90s show and you'll find that Garcia was speed noodling over literally everything back in the day...

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Poster: Robony Date: Dec 14, 2006 6:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's guitar abilities in the 90's

The scales that he used in the later years were more simplified than those he used earlier. I think that helped give the illusion of his playing faster in that he was able to go through the progressions quicker.